03/01/2013 7:45 PM ET
Rangers still unsure if E. Beltre will join Spain
By AJ Cassavell / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Engel Beltre deadline is drawing near, and the Rangers remain on the fence as to whether the injured outfielder will play for Spain in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.
Beltre has been battling a strained left shoulder and completed his first day of full drills on Friday. The Rangers are worried that Beltre, who has yet to play this spring, may feel the effects of jumping directly into nine-inning action.
"He may still play in the WBC, but it's unlikely that he leaves on Sunday, when he would have otherwise left," general manager Jon Daniels said. "At this point, there's some things we want to see him get through, including get back in games."
The club is also considering sending Beltre to the Classic with possible limitations on innings or at-bats, a prospect that wouldn't bother Beltre in the slightest.
"Everything depends on the Rangers," said Beltre, who is scheduled to leave Sunday. "I'm going to do what they say. If they tell me that, I'll do that."
Manager Ron Washington said he's looking to get Beltre on the field Saturday against the D-backs, and if all goes well, his Classic status will be up for evaluation.
"If everything feels good tomorrow, I guess he'll be ready to go," Washington said. "If not, he's ours. It really depends on his health. If we think his health is not good enough, it won't happen."
As for the more prominent Beltre -- Adrian -- the Rangers are still taking it slow as he battles a right calf injury. The club has set a date for his return to the lineup, but wouldn't announce it just yet.
Secure at first base, Moreland excels early
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Rangers manager Ron Washington offered Mitch Moreland a bit of timeless advice earlier this spring.
"Come out here and play, man. Have fun and enjoy yourself," Washington told his first baseman.
Moreland is certainly having plenty of fun thus far.
He hit his second homer in as many games during the Rangers' 8-6 loss to Seattle on Friday. Perhaps more importantly, all three of the left-handed hitter's RBIs came off left-handed pitching.
Last season, Moreland hit just .239 against lefties compared to a .281 mark against right-handers. He posted an on-base percentage that was 48 points lower against southpaws.
"I feel pretty good in my at-bats right now," said Moreland, who is hitting .308 this spring after his 1-for-3 afternoon on Friday. "I'm just trying to have the same approach lefty and righty. There's no difference. I'm just trying to go up there and grind out my at-bats, see some pitches and try and get a little deeper into counts."
Washington said there's no doubt in his mind that Moreland will be his first baseman this season and he wants to make sure Moreland knows that.
"We had a conversation in the spring," Washington said. "I didn't want him looking over his shoulder. Don't try to compare his self to anybody else. Just be Mitch Moreland. "He's done that."
Frasor readies for Rangers debut Saturday
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have held back on using Jason Frasor so far this spring, but that will change Saturday, when the right-handed reliever is scheduled to make his spring debut against Arizona at 2:10 p.m. CT.
But the lack of innings thus far hasn't bothered the 35-year-old Frasor.
"My ERA's not going up," he joked.
All kidding aside, there's no need for the Rangers to rush the veteran Frasor into action. With an extended camp this spring -- thanks to the World Baseball Classic -- and Frasor's experience in preparing for a season, the Rangers decided to hold him back in the early spring.
"We've got a long spring," manager Ron Washington said. "We certainly don't need to be throwing Frasor out there right away. We'll set it up where he'll get his innings by the time we get out of here."
Frasor, who signed with the club in the offseason after pitching almost his entire career for Toronto, said he really only needs seven or eight appearances before he feels ready for the season.
Eventually, he figures to be a vital cog in a restructured bullpen that saw the departures of Mike Adams, Koji Uehara, Scott Feldman and Mark Lowe. For now, Frasor is content to "sit in the 'pen and chew bubble gum."
"Let these young guys battle it out," Frasor said. "Let these young guys show them what they can do. It's not odd. I know my time will come."
Well-traveled Lindblom hoping to stick in Texas
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The past year was a bit of a whirlwind for Rangers reliever Josh Lindblom.
Last July, the right-hander was dealt from Los Angeles to Philadelphia in the Shane Victorino deal. A few months later, he was Texas-bound after the Rangers netted him as the main piece in exchange for Michael Young.
He's hopeful Arlington, Texas, is his last stop for a while.
"I'd love to stick in one spot, and I don't think there'd really be any better place than here to do it," said Lindblom, who posted a 3.55 ERA in 74 appearances last season. "You look at the success they've had and what the front office has done, what the team's done and what the coaching staff has done -- to be in the World Series in two of the last three years, it speaks for itself.
"What they want to do here is to win championships. As a player, you can't ask for anything else."
Lindblom has spent the early stages of the spring honing his sinker and trying to rein in his walk total a bit. With Los Angeles, he always featured solid control, but after the trade to Philadelphia, Lindblom walked 17 hitters in 23 1/3 innings. That came after walking 18 in more than twice as many innings with LA.
Now Lindblom is eager for the next opportunity.
"I kind of got out of my comfort zone a little bit in Philadelphia and here," Lindblom said. "I had to adapt, but baseball's baseball wherever you go. As long as you've got that uniform on and you're pitching in a Major League stadium, it doesn't matter what uniform it is. You've still got to execute pitches."
• Catcher Eli Whiteside was out Friday with a calf strain, and center fielder Craig Gentry missed his third straight day because of a strained left hamstring. He should be set to play Saturday at 2:10 p.m. CT against the D-backs.
• Tanner Scheppers (left hamstring), Roman Mendez (elbow) and Yoshinori Tateyama (lower back) all threw bullpen sessions. Kyle McClellan (shoulder), a candidate for the No. 5 spot in the rotation, threw a session from the front of the mound.
• Former Rangers Mark McLemore, Rusty Greer and Kenny Rogers were all in camp Friday working with the club. Washington said Rogers was specifically working in pitchers' fielding practice and with the club's left-handers on their pickoff moves -- a specialty of his during a 20-year big league career.